David Appleyard

David Appleyard is a designer and writer based in the UK. He manages Tuts+, along with having founded several design websites including Design Shack and Themelantic.

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It’s amazing to see how Twitter has dominated over the past few years, rising to fame, fortune, and almost ubiquitous use by anyone interested in the web and technology. It’s a great way to communicate and stay up-to-date, and most people would agree that much of their success is attributable to an open API and the sheer number of applications built on top of the service.

As Mac users, we’re ridiculously spoilt for choice when picking a desktop Twitter client. I’d even go so far as to say there are probably more Twitter apps to choose from than email clients – a crazy situation for a social platform that has only been around for just over four years.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Tweetie Twitter for Mac, and love the changes that came along with the latest release. I’m also partial to Twitterrific (and am enjoying playing around with the latest 4.0 release). I like the simplicity of these apps, and have never considered myself a Twitter “power user”.

In today’s poll, I’d love to hear what your desktop client of choice is. I’ve done my best to include what I consider to be the main players in the poll, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have missed one or two. If that’s the case, accept my apologies in advance, and let me know in the comments!

I’d also love to hear why you use a particular client, so feel free to discuss the reasoning for your decision below…

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to our fantastic weekly sponsor, PDFpen.

If you regularly work with (or need to edit) PDF documents, PDFpen can be an absolute life saver. It has a friendly, easy-to-use interface, with a feature set that rivals that of Acrobat Pro. Make changes to PDF documents with ease, replace text, add your signature to a contract, automatically perform OCR, merge pages, hide sensitive information, and much more.

You can pick up the standard version for $59.95, or opt for PDFpenPro which includes powerful tools for converting a website into a multi-page PDF, creating PDF forms, and automatically building a table of contents ($99.95).

Whether you only edit a few PDFs a month, or consider it a daily task, I can’t recommend PDFpen highly enough. It’s a purchase you won’t regret.

Smile have been kind enough to set up a coupon code just for our readers. Just use the code APPSTORMPDF when checking out, and you’ll receive a 20% discount off PDFpen or PDFpenPro.

This is good for either a single user license, or a family pack (which covers home use for up to 5 computers). It’s only valid until the 20th February, so act soon!

Winners Announced

I’m pleased to let you know that we’ve picked the five lucky winners of Radium. Your licenses will be on the way soon!

  1. Andrei Neamtu
  2. KK Wong
  3. Paul
  4. Paletta
  5. Mikael Konutgan

Competition Now Closed

To celebrate the launch of Radium on the Mac App Store, I’m pleased to let you know that we have five promo codes to give away! Radium is a fantastic desktop radio player, which we have previously reviewed on the site. It currently has 60% off in the App Store, and is available for just $9.99.

Catpig Studios, the developer of Radium, has taken the approach of continuing to support sales from both their own website and the Mac App Store. We’re giving away promo codes for the latter today, but all Radium users will continue to receive support and updates going forward.

Entering is really easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to this competition – either on your website, or via Twitter
  2. Leave a comment, letting me know where you posted the link!

Simple! The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick five winning comments at random on Friday 18th February. Best of luck!

The notion of a “Mac Media Centre” has always fascinated me, and I love the idea of having a home entertainment system that’s completely centred around OS X. Once you get used to the simplicity of the Mac interface, using any other piece of consumer electronics can sometimes feel as though you’re trying to navigate the space shuttle back to Earth.

Apple’s “hobby” – the Apple TV – offers a good solution to this problem for certain tasks, but it’s still fairly restrictive if you’d like to have a fully Apple powered media centre. Even if you simply want to watch live TV, you’re going to need something more flexible.

The two main candidates that spring to mind are either the Mac Mini, or a small MacBook stashed away underneath your LCD screen. Both are perfectly capable of performing media centre duties, and have the required output to send good quality video and sound to your entertainment system.

But how many of you have made the jump? I’d love to know whether you’re using a Mac to power your home entertainment system and, if so, which software you use. Are you happy with navigating around OS X, or do you prefer something such as Hulu, Plex, or Boxee?

Let us know, and do share your thoughts in the comments!

I’d like to take a moment to say a big thank you to our weekly sponsor, Smaller.

Smaller is a graphical user interface for YUI Compressor on the Mac. It helps you batch minify CSS and JavaScript files with a nice drag and drop interface, and is the perfect tool for web designers and developers who don’t want to delve into the command line.

Simply drag and drop a file, or a folder, and Smaller will intelligently grab all the CSS and JavaScript files from that location. You can also tweak various preferences; append a new file ending, choose whether to overwrite the original file, and adjust a few JavaScript-specific settings.

Smaller is priced at $15, and you can download a 30 day trial to take it for a test run. It’s a wonderfully simple and convenient application, and worth every cent if this is an operation you perform on a regular basis.

We’ve covered Alfred quite a bit here on AppStorm, but I wanted to take some time today to showcase a few features that you might not have come across before. I used to be the type of person that loved to have an application launcher, but only ever used it for – you guessed it – launching apps!

Although Alfred does give you a fantastic way to open software using just your keyboard, it goes well beyond that fairly basic functionality. Today we’ll take a look at a few more advanced techniques, and show you how powerful this simple piece of software really is…


We’d like to say a big thank you to this month’s Mac.AppStorm sponsors, and the great software they create! If you’re interested in advertising, you can purchase a banner advertisement through BuySellAds, or sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot.

Thank you to the fantastic applications we had sponsoring each week during the month, all of which we personally recommend you download and try out!

  • LittleSnapper – This is a wonderful application for collecting, organising, and sharing inspiring snippets and images you come across on the web.
  • Jumsoft Pages Templates – These are a great way to spruce up your collection of pre-built Pages designs, and some of the new graphical layouts are really gorgeous.
  • Courier – This fantastic piece of software makes it easy to quickly share files, images, photos, movies, and more with all your favourite online services – including Flickr and Facebook.
  • Postbox – The latest release of Postbox brings an array of fantastic functionality, some of which we covered a few weeks ago. This includes a unified inbox, account groups, improved conversation views, and “Quick Actions” for replying to messages.

Thanks for reading AppStorm this month, and for checking out the software that our sponsors create. I really appreciate it.

We’ve collected the top five reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in January. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, or Android apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!

Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!


If you’re anything like most Apple users, you’ll be used to the twinge of excitement that comes around every time Apple announces a new product or gadget. The company has one of the greatest sales pitch records in the history of technology, and it’s hard not to be impressed with pretty much anything that comes out of Cupertino.

But, glitzy sales magic aside, how often are you compelled as a Mac user to upgrade your hardware? Is it something that you see as a rare necessity, or a yearly indulgence to make sure you’re always up to date with the latest Mac lineup?

Personally, I tend to stick with the hardware I have for as long as possible. I usually only upgrade when either my Mac starts to exhibit problems and become unreliable, or when a new form factor/update genuinely means that I’ll be able to do my job better.

The portability of the Macbook Air is close to hitting the second of these, but I haven’t felt the urge to upgrade from my MacBook Pro just yet…

Let us know your own thoughts on the topic, and do share your opinion in the comments!

Over the past week, the AppStorm team has been hanging out in San Francisco at Macworld 2011. Despite scaling back a little this year (and changing the venue to Moscone West), Macworld is still faring well without Apple.

As also seemed to be the case at WWDC in recent years, a big emphasis was placed on iOS – and the associated apps and accessories. Thankfully, after wading through a sea of iPhone cases and stands (which I’m sure will be adequately covered on iPhone.AppStorm!), there was still plenty to see for those primarily interested in the Mac platform.

In today’s post I’ll be looking at a handful of my favourite apps, hardware, and announcements over the course week, along with sharing a few thoughts on our general experience at Macworld.


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